After two months in Ecuador I have had time to reflect on the condition of America, and although I have not seen a television set, I have read a bit of the news on the net and it is very difficult to be optimistic. A friend recently sent a article by Robert Reich, "The Republican Crack UP" and how the party has been taken over by a small minority of Tea Party members in the House, that reflect the 60"s racists of the deep South. Reich goes on to point out that most of these members are from Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina; being born in Alabama in 1942 I know exactly who and what these people are made of. It is the same group that supported George Wallace in 64, an openly segregationist Governor. This group is alive and well, and can be found in all 50 states. They usually hide behind code words and rale against big government, and "those people" that simply will not work.
Perry, Bachmann, Gingrich, and Romney have all played to this audience. Reich summed this up as follows:
"As Michael Lind has noted, today's Tea Party is less an ideological movement than the latest incarnation of an angry white minority -- predominantly Southern, and mainly rural -- that has repeatedly attacked American democracy in order to get its way." The so called crack up is not only sad for the old line true conservative Republicans, but bad for the nation, in that one of our fundamental safe cards is two strong parties that represent a majority of the American people. This now seems to be lost and we have allowed a small 1 % of the nation to form the perfect definition of an Oligarchy. Of course this 1% could care less about "Billy Bob" and his tea friends, as they are just used to divide and conquer.
Interestingly enough, the ex pat Americans, be they from the South, East, North, or West all see very clearly what is happening, but I am doubtful that the average American has a clue. I am called "elitist" by many of these Southern Republicans based on the assumption I gather, in that I have the audacity to ask questions that they seem unable to answer. As the jobs have dried up, the loss of homes, college grads having to return home to live with parents, investment portfolios cut in half, people have become frightened and mad as hell. This anger is the main motivating factor behind the occupy movement, and also the Tea Party, even thought they represent for the most part two opposite groups. The one thing they have in common is both groups are scared and mad.
What is America's future? I am deeply troubled that it is not a bright picture and even more concerned that it may get much worse. Many of the Americans we cross paths with in other parts of the world have already made their decision and simply left. One must wonder if it is not similar to what happened with black Americans in the South from the 20"s through the 60"s-----they simply left.
Gin Arnold is a 70 year old liberal living in Cotacachi, Ecuador after living in S. Alabama. I have owned several businesses, lived aboard a 32 foot sailing yacht, been a bar tender, boat captain, short order cook, and imported furniture from (more...